It is a tough time for traditional high streets, which find themselves under pressure from a wide range of powerful economic, technological and social trends. No town centre can avoid the shifting retail and consumer patterns, but these pressures play out differently in each place, requiring coherent and locally-tailored responses. Local authorities are at the forefront of this response, working with partners to bring about positive change.
In this response, the LGA sets how councils are developing town centres, not just as retail centres, but as community and cultural hubs. We also highlight some of the barriers to this effort, and we make some recommendations for what Government can do to help.
Contributors set out a future vision for the high street: more focus on social, cultural and entertainment services as well as shopping, and a greater say for local communities in the make-up of their town centres.
13 February 2013